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Elevating human dimensions of amphibian and reptile conservation, a USA perspective

April 1, 2022

Increasing threats to amphibian and reptile species raise the urgency of their conservation. However, relative to other vertebrate groups at risk, amphibians and reptiles have low and more variable social capital; they are not generally high-priority natural goods and services valued by people. Consequently, relative to other groups such as birds, mammals, and economically important fish, they garner fewer conservation resources. With increasing risks, their situation degrades. We examine five societal sectors with herpetofaunal conservation interests in the United States (local communities, people in defined geographies and jurisdictions, species and threat specialists and advocates, associated researchers, managers, and policy makers) to understand challenges of low and variable social capital for herpetofauna. With current trends of US public values changing from traditionalist consumerism of wildlife to mutualist coexistence philosophies, a refocus of outreach and inreach efforts could help reframe priorities toward species at greatest risk, rather than broad taxonomic biases. Integrated teams of engaged natural resource managers, researchers, and the interested public can help promote species- and issue-based programs to forestall losses, hence programmatically raising social capital. Heightened recognition of the importance of human relationships and herpetofaunal diversity among researchers, managers, policy makers, educators, artists, authors, citizens, and children could provide inertia to reframe conservation program effectiveness at local-to-national scales.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Elevating human dimensions of amphibian and reptile conservation, a USA perspective
DOI 10.1111/csp2.12685
Authors Deanna H. Olson, David Pilliod
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Conservation Science and Practice
Series Number
Index ID 70230694
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center